A smiling group of toddlers exemplifies the care and experience Northeaster's early childhood education program provides.
Area of Study

Early Childhood Education

Early childhood teachers and directors work in a variety of settings:  private and public preschool and child care settings supported and operated by the employer, hospitals, recreation centers, before/after school programs, Head Start, and other programs serving children birth to 8 years.
woman helping child with art project

About the Program

T-PREP is a unique and flexible program that provides tomorrow’s teachers who are living and/or working in rural communities with a way to earn a four-year degree and teaching license without leaving home.

Key Features

  • Start taking classes at Northeastern Junior College (NJC) to earn your associate’s
  • Complete the rest of your classes as a CU Denver student in face-to-face classes taught by CU Denver faculty on NJC’s campus in Sterling or online.
  • Save money by opting into BA to MA (BAMA). In BAMA, three classes you take during your senior year double count towards both your bachelor’s and your master’s degrees and are billed at the undergraduate tuition rate.
  • Expand your options as an elementary education teacher by taking two extra classes and adding a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse endorsement education teaching license

Why earn a bachelor’s degree?

By choosing a T-PREP pathway, your career opportunities will widen. In T-PREP, we prepare highly competent professionals who embrace the whole child in inclusive, culturally and linguistically diverse settings. Continuing your education can help to advance your knowledge and abilities to be an agent of social change and serve young children, youth and families more effectively. The School of Education & Human Development at CU Denver is rated a top school by U.S. News and World Report, and our graduates become some of the best-prepared teachers in the country. Requirements for the teaching workforce are evolving in Colorado and in the age of universal Pre-K. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree now will prepare you to work in a variety of educational settings and prepare you to serve in leadership positions in the future. Additional schooling, spent in a caring, networked learning community, will be an asset to you. A variety of scholarships and loan forgiveness programs for rural educators are in place to help you pay for your education.

Licensure Options

T-PREP Licensure Options at Northeastern Junior College

  • Early Childhood Education (ages 0 - 8)
  • Elementary Education (grades K - 6)
  • Special Education (ages 5-21)
  • Middle School Math Education 
  • Secondary Science Education 

More Information

Leveraging low-cost tuition at the community college and competitive CU Denver tuition rates with reduced fees makes the T-PREP program affordable. Submit your Free Application for Student Aid and you will be eligible to receive additional grants and scholarships for rural teachers.

It’s important to understand the amount you will be investing in your education up front. During the first half of your program, you will pay NJC’s tuition and fees ($153 per credit hour for the 2021-22 academic year), or approximately $10,000. The second half of your program, you will pay a reduced CU Denver tuition rate per credit hour ($354 for the 2021-22 academic year), or approximately $25,000. Costs are subject to change. In all, the costs of earning your BA from CU Denver are lower than earning the same degree from other institutions in the Sterling area.

Program Requirements / Classes

Early Childhood Teacher Education

Associate of Arts
60 Credits

T-Prep A.A. Early Childhood Education

Associate of Arts
60 Credits

Early Childhood Education

Associate of Applied Science
69 Credits

Early Childhood Director

30 Credits

Early Childhood Teacher

18 Credits

Nanny/Infant Toddler Teacher

35 Credits

Early Childhood Assistant Teacher

6 Credits

T-Prep Early Childhood Education

16 Credits


Donna Brady-Lawler
Early Childhood Education Coordinator and Professor
E.S. French- 203E
Donna Brady - Lawler
Celeste Delgado-Pelton
Chair Liberal Arts and Academic Opportunity
E.S. French- 104A
Celeste Delgado - Pelton


Rebeka Laible
Administrative Assistant II
E.S. French-104
Rebeka Laible